Reactions to the Cincinnati Bengals Selecting A. J. Green

Newest Bengals A. J. Green -- are you tired of seeing this pic yet? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

With the continuation of the draft coming in 3 hours, we have a little time to indulge in one of the more entertaining ancillary aspects of the process: reading through the various "report cards" handed out by experts and analysts. And since one of our self-appointed duties here at CJ is to consolidate information and pass it along, after the jump there's a rundown of what some of those folks are saying about the Bengals' pick of A. J. Green.

I was always taught to lead off with the positives, so lets first take a look at some of the praise the team is garnering.

  • Pete Prisco over at CBS Sports online grades the pick out at a B+, saying: "I love this pick. They need a big-play receiver and Green will be a star. He plays faster than he runs. Now he has to hope Carson Palmer stays"....and they get offensive line help, revamp the running game, have Jerome Simpson not go M.I.A. again, yadda yadda yadda. Of note is the fact that he gives the following pick by Arizona, one Patrick Peterson, an enthusiastic A. 
  • Fox sports, on the other hand, gives the Green pick an A. Rarely do we see that high a grade associated with anything the Bengals do. Revel in it my friends.
  • Former Bengal John Thornton thinks the team did the right thing in making an expected pick, while wondering what the implications are: "Mike Brown mentioned a month ago that he thinks Carson may change his mind if the Bengals made some moves, and this was probably the move he had in mind. I doubt this changes things but it’s a good start. If the Bengals don’t select a QB at #35, then I think they will make another push at Carson."
  • At Yahoo! Sports, Doug Farrar has a nice analysis up, saying:

Green has already been compared to Randy Moss in some quarters, and while that's a bit extreme, it's true that he possesses a rare combination of skills that should see him succeeding very quickly at the NFL level. With his ability to jump, get downfield as much with agility as speed, and use his hands to snatch the ball in the tightest spaces, another comparison comes to mind - especially if Green gains a few pounds. Green isn't nearly as physical as a Calvin Johnson, but many of the attributes line up well enough to make him an elite NFL starter.

Is it the right pick? Yes, if the Bengals can figure out their quarterback situation. Carson Palmer has given no indication that he wants to be a Bengal anymore, but he may change his mind when he sees Green's freaky game tape.

  • Mike Florio at PFT says that although they needed a QB "badly" the team went with Green who, if he "can become everything that Chad Ochocinco was during his prime and more (and less of a pain in the ass), [will] make whichever quarterback the Bengals employ look better."

But even with a freaky can't-miss prospect like Green there will always be haters. SI.com (via coldhardfootballfacts.com) thinks:

Bad organizations make bad draft-day decisions. The Bengals are a bad organization. And they made yet another bad draft-day decision. First-round wide receivers have an incredibly high rate of failure in the NFL. And the team has already tried and failed to win under the mistaken assumption that teams are built around wide receivers. Green is a great talent and could become a big-time NFL wideout. Regardless, the Bengals would have been better served with a stud interior lineman or pass rusher to shore up a defense that ranked 21st against the run (4.43 YPA) and 24th at rushing the passer (sack or INT on 7.95 percent of dropbacks).

It's certainly hard to argue with that first bit (about the Bengals being a lousy organization and all), and there's even a good amount of logic in this claim that the team should have passed on Green, but it's hard to imagine Green being as a bust. Although, I suspect I'm not the first to say that about a first round wideout.

What do fans of teams within the division think?
  • On the Steelers SB Nation site, they have the pick down as a A-, noting that Green "has amazing body control, terrific hands, excellent route-running abilities, and perfect size. Basically, he's everything you could want in a receiver. No matter who's throwing the ball for the Bengals next year, they'll be happy to have Green on their side." 
  • The Ravens crew also wonder who'll be tossing the ol' pigskin, but concede that "Green is a great pick who should step in and contribute immediately, and for that, there is no reason not to give the Bengals an 'A' for the pick."
  • I haven't found the Browns' reaction yet. They're too busy congratulating themselves on collecting all those picks from Atlanta.

Overall, the general reaction seems to be what we'd expect: Great player, sound pick, but this team's got a lot of missing pieces still, particularly who's going to be throwing the ball to Green to enable him to reach his potential.

I think we're all soon to find out.

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